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a. a territory ruled by a prince
b. a territory from which a prince draws his title
2. the dignity or authority of a prince



(in Russian, kniazhestvo), a monarchical state headed by a prince and most typical of the period of feudal fragmentation. In ancient Rus’ the first principalities were established between the ninth and early tenth centuries. In the 11th to 12th centuries a number of principalities broke away from Kievan Rus’ (which in turn disintegrated into appanages held by representatives of the princely family) and were named after their capitals (for example, the principalities of Riazan’ and Vladimir). The largest of them were called grand principalities. From the end of the 15th century through the early 16th the principalities of northeastern Rus’ were united to form a centralized Russian state under the Grand Principality of Moscow.

In other states, the principality (in German, Fürstentum and in French, principauté) was also the typical political formation of the period of feudal fragmentation. Territorial principalities continued to exist in Germany until they were united to form the German Empire in 1871. A number of principalities still exist (Liechtenstein and Monaco in Western Europe and the Arab principalities on the Persian Gulf [United Arab Emirates]). Until 1950 there were principalities in India.

References in periodicals archive ?
Broadcast partners S4C and BBC will continue their live and highlights coverage of the Principality Premiership, S4C committing to 15 live Principality Premiership and WRU National Cup, Plate and Bowl matches.
Minister Kubuabola thanked and the Principality of Andorra for supporting Fiji, and looks forward to closer cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the United Nations.
He felt the Principality Building Society would have been good for City's image.
The Principality Premiership has established itself as a vital stepping stone in helping players get from the village playing field to the professional game and we look forward to getting to the heart of the action on and off the field through Jamie's inside knowledge.
The partnership between the WRU and the Principality Building Society will see the start of a 10-year investment in Welsh rugby by the building society.
According to Peter Laing, deputy chief executive of The Principality, "The new systems are a significant step forward in our on-going commitment to providing a quality service to our members.
The Principality has agreed to establish a presence in nine new locations across the country, including Caernarfon and Colwyn Bay.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland was the VIP of the night and had the honour of switching on the Principality Stadium sign after giving an impressive three-two-one countdown in Welsh.
Today we are in the 11th season of support for the Principality Premiership which has progressed Wales international players throughout its tenure and continues to support grassroots rugby.
THE Principality Welsh Premier Football League is preparing to kick off its 2010-11 campaign - and you could be supporting your favourite team all season for FREE
The Principality is a mutual organisation which means it is owned by its 500,000 members, ie those who hold accounts.
THE ground-breaking deal to rename the Millennium Stadium as the Principality Stadium was last night dubbed "the perfect fit for Wales".